By Ron Hagood
For The Tribune
CLAY — Clay-Chalkville locked up its No. 2 spot in the Class 6A, Region 6 race Friday night by whipping Minor 45-14.
The opening kickoff told the story of the night. The Tigers’ Jamari Jamison muffed the kick, allowing the Clay-Chalkville special teams to recover the opening kickoff inside the Minor 10-yard line. Just four plays later, Curtis Blakely would dive in from the 1-yard line to give the Cougars an early 7-0 lead.
Behind the arm and legs of Willie Miller and the bruising running from Quentin Young, Clay-Chalkville would have a 31-0 lead, before the fans could get comfortable in their seats. Minor got on the board midway through the second half, as Brenton White hit a wide-open Delonte’ Evans for 65 yards and a touchdown.
The second half, though, would see more of the Cougars’ Young, as he would punch in two more touchdowns in the third quarter to make it 45-7.
Minor managed a late score for the final tally.
Eighth-ranked Clay-Chalkville improved to 8-1 and closed the region schedule 5-1. Pinson Valley improved to 5-0 in the region with a win over Gardendale, so the Indians win the region with Clay No. 2. Gardendale fell to 3-2. Carver locked up the fourth spot in the playoffs by beating Jasper on Friday.
The Minor Tigers fall to 3-5 on the season and 1-4 in the region, and became eliminated from playoff contention. Clay-Chalkville will finish out the regular season next Friday night as they will host the high-powered Park Crossing Thunderbirds in a non-region game. Park Crossing (8-1) beat Sidney Lanier 34-19 Friday night and should re-emerge in the Class 6A poll this week.